Lutheran Social Services Expands Mentoring Programs

This past year, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sioux Empire transitioned its program operations to Lutheran Social Services’ mentoring programs. Now known as Climb, the mentoring program continues to provide area youth ages 7-14 with the opportunity to be matched with an adult role model. The mentors provide support, guidance, and friendship to help children succeed in school life. Mentors and mentees spend at least 4 hours together each month in community-based activities.

Molly is in 3rd grade and lives with her mom and their pets. They visit family out of town when possible, but Molly has few adults in her daily life outside of school. When Molly was first interviewed to get a Big Brothers Big Sisters mentor she had some extreme behaviors, which staff thought might make her almost impossible to match.

Despite the challenges, a mentor was found who had experience working with behavioral needs. They were matched about seven months ago and things have been great. Together they have gone to the park, tried bowling, made a gingerbread house, and have shared many meals together. Since Big Brothers Big Sisters has joined LSS, this match has also had the opportunity to have lunch together at school and participate in monthly activities such as game night and a fall party.

Her mentor reports that Molly has never once been disrespectful or made poor decisions when they’ve been together. The mentor has connected with LSS staff—asking questions and getting support as she builds her relationship. Molly and her mentor are looking forward to their summer activities!